Q: Do recent decisions in the negotiations on the conflict on eastern Ukraine reflect a new approach to negotiations by the parties? Is Ukraine’s capitulation certain, as some are saying in Kiev?
A: I have already had the opportunity to talk about recent progress in these talks, particularly during the first meeting of the contact group on October 1. France welcomes these advances, the most significant in three years, which owe a great deal to the determination of the new president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to find a lasting solution to the conflict. They were made possible by the intense negotiations conducted in the so-called Normandy Format, in which France and Germany took part. Decisions relate to disengagement and the conditions for the adoption of the future status of certain parts of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, one of many points to be resolved in the settlement in the conflict. With respect to the latter, they simply take up the terms of the “Steinmeier Formula” that had already been agreed to by the heads of state and government of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany at their Berlin summit on October 19, 2016.